The Films of Aleksey Fedorchenko: Between Cultural Mythmaking and Playing with a Document
This article studies the films of Alexey Fedorchenko in order to discover the dominant features of his artistic world. This is based on the guiding principles of documentary filmmaking, with its commitment to fact, the reliability of archival sources, trust in physical reality, and addressing the laws of the art of presentation, where a free play with reality becomes a dominant feature in its most diverse forms from documentation to mystification. The director creates his own coherent world of fiction and non-fiction, based on strategies of the cultural matrix of mythmaking as a means of understanding and experiencing the “arrangement” of the world. The purpose of the article is to study Fedorchenko’s films in order to discover the dominant feature of his artistic world. The first methodological basis for the analysis of his films is a cultural concept of art where art is understood not only as the self-consciousness of culture, but also as an object that depends on all subsystems of culture, both material and spiritual. The cinematography of Fedorchenko stems from a special type of artistic consciousness, which determines (predetermines) the subject and conceptual sphere of his artistic expression. Analysing the films of Fedorchenko, the author identifies the dominant feature of his artistic consciousness, which is focused on a reflective attitude towards culture and traditions. This type of artistic consciousness is understood as culture-centric. The culture-centric type of artistic consciousness ignores nature and its mimetic imitation, but at the same time, the dominating idea determining the source of artistic creation becomes a conscious attitude to culture as material that requires interpretation in a new context, as a space that generates meanings. Fedorchenko uses myth as source material and cultural space in his films. However, he does not deal with the cinematic adaptation of myths. He creates them on his own, using the logic of a mythological narrative, the peculiarities of mythological space and time. That is why the second methodological basis of the article is the classical concepts from A. Losev, R. Barthes and M. Eliade. The author mostly refers to documentaries and feature films by the director, as well as his mockumentaries. The study identifies certain algorithms in which documentary historical events acquire the characteristics of myth, and mythmaking becomes a key to understanding the truth.
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